Today Iris and I went on a field trip to our local zoo. I sort of get a kick out calling it a field trip. Maybe I should start referring our jaunts to the grocey store, coffee shop and pet store field trips too? I think I shall.
Because I wanted to make sure Iris "got something" out of the trip I pre-planned a wee tiny bit. I know, I know, like she would have walked around immune to learning without my messing with it, right? I told her before we left that she was in control of what we saw and had to take on the duties of reading the zoo map. She has gotten frustrated with the map in the past, but it was time to try again.
First she led us to the family farm. Here Iris may have learned her biggest lesson of the day. We walked over to a pen that had a lone bunny in it. We ooohed and aaahed over how cute it was and a zookeeper was standing close by noticing us. Iris looked at me and said "can we pet it?" In my head I thought the answer was no, but I looked at her and said "you can ask!" Iris paused and with her squeaky shy voice said to the zookeeper "can we pet it?" and to our surprise the answer was yes! The zookeeper picked up the bunny and Iris sank her hands in to his soft coat while she listened to some facts about bunnies. This is when Iris learned what a prey animal was. Good times. But for Iris to even ask was kind of huge for her. I am glad she had such a positive outcome for taking the risk and speaking up.
What else did Iris learn? Here are a few examples:
-the difference between feline and canine
-tons of bird facts, like where hornbills are from and why flamingoes are pink
-that there is such a thing as a legless lizard (and if you're thinking, isn't that called a snake? Well, no, apparently!)
- what venom is and what the terms venomous/non-venomous mean
-what kinds of bugs have exoskeletons
-what it means when a giant snake kills something by constriction
-that Seattle doesn't have black widows
-that Seattle doesn't have tarantulas
-that there are layers in the rainforest
-how to read the zoo map and make use of signs to get where she wanted to go
And of course a ton more. Man, the zoo is fun.
I thought she would be bored there without her sister, but she wasn't at all. We both agreed we were glad we went even though it can be tough for either of us to feel motivated. I put the zoo outing on our calendar because I knew we would never go unless it was planned.
Looking forward to more fun outings!